Five things we learned from Sheffield Wednesday's opening pre-season friendly at Alfreton

Former Marseille loanee Steven Fletcher in action

Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 at the Impact Arena on Tuesday. Here's five things we (might have) learned...

5) Is this Fletcher's squad number?

Sunderland's Steven Fletcher

The new arrival was assigned the number 26 on Tuesday, while others appear to have kept their shirts from last season. Though usually a nine or 10, Fletcher previously wore 26 at both Hibernian and Sunderland, as it's his birthday, and looks set to continue at Hillsborough. Let's face it, he was never going to wrestle nine from big Atdhe now was he?

4) Wednesday really need a centre-back

Brighton's James Wilson in action with Sheffield Wednesday's Glenn Loovens

Glenn Loovens was conspicuous by his absence, with it later revealed he will miss the next six to eight weeks after surgery. Tom Lees and Sam Hutchinson were the only senior centre-backs who travelled, and given the latter's questionable attendance record, another addition is paramount.

3) Points 5 and 4 say a lot about Claude Dielna...

Claude Dielna - Sheffield Wednesday

Despite the Owls' shortage, Dielna was nowhere to be seen at the Impact Arena, with even Darryl Lachman - yet to make an appearance since arriving a year ago - making the bench ahead of him. According to the Frenchman's Instagram he is back in Sheffield. However, with Fletcher pinching his shirt, his future at the club looks increasingly bleak.

2) Melo lives!

Sheffield Wednesday's Silva Filipe Melo in action with Brentford's Alan Judge

Another forgotten man Filipe Joaquim Melo Silva returned to action in Derbyshire, having spent the whole of last season sidelined. How did he look? "Like Borat", quipped one Twitter user. Could the 6ft 3ins Portuguese be Wednesday's coveted midfield enforcer?

1) At least there was no 2011 repeat...

Paul Clayton celebrates scoring the first goal for Alfreton Town

A 1-1 draw isn't the best on paper, but results mean precious little at this stage. These early fixtures are about fitness, first and foremost. However, at least there was no repeat of five years ago, when a vastly inexperienced Wednesday XI were trounced 14-0 at the same venue. Although Alfreton's Paul Clayton, who scored a hat-trick in that fixture, was again on target.


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